Tasmania's journal of discovery

Images from Antarctica

Lyn Irvine, marine biologist and photographer, has a passion for the outdoors and wide open spaces. This self-confessed Antarctica addict is a major contributor to the calendar — Antarctica 2007: Images of a Frozen Land, and we include some of those images in a special portfolio dedicated to Lyn’s stunning photography.

Harsh Beauty

Kingston-based marine biologist Lyn Irvine, and Andy Townsend, a Hobart freelance photographer and computer programmer, have again combined forces to produce two more calendars — Antarctica 2006 [in two sizes] — celebrating the harsh beauty of the frozen continent. We highlight some of the images in their portfolio here

Volcanic ‘toothpaste’ doubles island’s size

McDonald Island, an isolated companion to Heard Island — itself a barren outpost — has doubled in size in recent weeks according to satellite photographs.

The chief scientist with the Australian Antarctic program, Professor Michael Stoddart, says it appears the volcanic eruption is not violent. “This is more like a gentle squeezing of the toothpaste tube, where the toothpaste is coming out of the top and running down the side,” he said.

“It’s a slow oozing of a very thick sticky, magma … so we’re not going to see all sorts of pyrotechnics.”

The remoteness of the area usually makes it difficult to study, with scientists relying on satellite images, which was how the recent activity was picked up.

The island is just 44 kilometres from Australia’s only other active volcano, on Heard Island, which has not erupted in recent times.

Images from a frozen land

Icy sunset

Andy Townsend and Lyn Irvine produced a stunning calendar to celebrate their visits to Antarctica and we have an exclusive look here.

Cuddly and furry

baby fur seal

Heard Island is home to large populations of mammals, especially elephant seals and fur seals, including this cuddly youngster. Meet more furry denizens from the bleakness of the subantarctic island here.

Birds of a feather

beach bloodlust

A bleak environment on Heard Island is home to many species of hardy seabirds, including the skuas and petrels fighting over carcasses washed ashore after a storm. More here.

Self portrait at depth

giant squid

This inquisitive deepwater squid triggered the underwater camera being towed by the Aurora Australis during the 2004 Heard Island expedition. Explore further here.

A special journey

Doug Thost’s beautiful portfolio is the perfect introduction to Antarctica. Indulge yourself here.

Into the maw of Big Ben

Hobart volcanologist and geologist Dr Graeme Wheller recalls his journey to Australia’s only volcano on isolated Heard Island. Explore more here.

Heard Island’s penguin paradise


This penguin couple, captured in a rare moment of isolation, look like they like their nesting spot, but are probably not happy about the neighbours below. Read more here about the four species that call Heard Island home.

more penguins

Tough and tenacious

Despite horrendous weather conditions, including extremes of temperature and winds that would strip lichen off rocks, a suprisingly diverse range of plants populate isolated Heard Island. See more here.

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Welcome to Leatherwood Online, Tasmania's Journal of Discovery, an ongoing celebration of this exotic locale and its creative inspiration.


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